What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage & Why Should You Have It?
It’s a beautiful day and you’re driving home from work. While merging onto the interstate, a car fails to yield and “side swipes” your vehicle. You just got into a car accident. You may be injured, possibly severely. Soon after, you find out that the driver that hit you has no insurance coverage. You wonder to yourself, “What am I supposed to do now?”
You first rely on your PIP (Personally Injury Protection) coverage which gives you up to $10,000 in coverage but due to your injuries, that quickly runs out. You may be able to get coverage through your personal health insurance. But, maybe you do not have health insurance. You then consider the option of suing the other driver personally. But, what if you do not have the retainer to hire an attorney to do so or the other driver does not have any assets to collect from? At that point, you are pretty much on your own to pay for your injuries.
Florida does not require drivers to carry bodily injury coverage, just PIP and liability coverage. Although PIP coverage does cover up to $10,000 of medical expenses, often car accident injuries require treatment that far exceeds that coverage. Therefore, you should carry uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist insurance coverage gives you coverage when you get injured in a car accident and the individual that hit you either does not have auto insurance or the policy that they have is too small to fully cover the cost of your injuries. Further, in the event that the other driver does have some coverage, uninsured motorist coverage stacks on top of the other driver’s bodily injury coverage giving you an even better chance of getting the care you need. You can purchase uninsured motorist coverage from your insurance carrier.
In the United States, roughly 13% of drivers DO NOT carry any auto insurance. In Florida alone, an estimated 24% of drivers DO NOT carry any auto insurance. That means for every four people that you drive past, one of them does not have any auto insurance coverage. Don’t gamble with your health and finances. Take the time to talk to your insurance company about uninsured motorist coverage to protect yourself when others fail to do so. Most importantly, take your time, look twice, and drive safely!